Welcome to the 5th Century B.C., to the Polis’ splendour, city-states of the Greek world which became the cultural reference of civilization in their age.
Blood and culture, glory and destruction, live together in this unique and thrilling historical period, when Athens and Sparta’s ambition lead both Polis to a « fight for the hegemony. »
Before this confrontation, Greek Polis were threatened to succumb under the Persian power in the Persian Wars, with the risk of losing their identity and independence. To confront the possibility of disappearance gave birth to a strong Pan-Hellenic feeling in numerous Polis which joined together under the command of the main two, Athens and Sparta, and with a stiff conviction of fighting for their survival were able to overcome such a mighty enemy.
But after the victory, both powers, with confronted views on most practical issues (government, army, economy... and in their understanding of society or even life itself, became to distrust the rival Polis’ growing power, starting a military and expansionistic rivalry which ended in a conflict between them.
In this so-called classic period, culture, arts and thought flourished, especially in Athens thanks to Pericles, but also, in an intermittent manner, the more powerful and now antagonistic Polis of Athens and Sparta fought for the Greek hegemony until the mutual destruction caused by the 2nd Peloponnesian War, which ended with Athens surrender but also with both Polis’ final weakening.
Each player plays the role of either Athens or Sparta, expanding the power of the Polis, trying to attract other Polis to their side by diplomacy or force, administering their growing Polis league in a reasonable way, knowing when to expand without depleting the resources, trading to get the ever scant wheat, fighting enemy armies when necessary and winning prestige from their actions. Have fun !